04-02-2012 05:49 AM
My T61 (7659-D22) has an Intel 4965AGN card but with "N disabled" (according to the specs.). Can I simply replace this card by a regular 4965AGN card and get full Wireless-N performance? I've read that Wireless-N needs three antennas for proper functioning, but I have no idea whether this machine has three or only two -- I haven't opened it up to look. If it does have only two antennas, how will this affect Wireless-N performance?
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04-02-2012 11:25 AM
What you have is a lenovo 4965AG card. Basically it's an Intel 4965AGN card that has been rebranded with Lenovo firmware and had "n" disabled (probably for legal reasons since it was only a draft).
You can install a Lenovo 4965AGN card, but if you install an Intel (not lenovo branded) 4965AGN your system will refuse to boot unless you use a modified bios.
You should have 3 antenna since both cards use 3. The third antenna isn't required to support "n" connections, it's used to support MIMO. Other cards such as the Intel 5100 support "n" and only have two antenna.
04-02-2012 01:37 PM
OK, I opened it up and found that it does have three antenna connections. Am I correct in thinking that 42T0865 is the IBM/Lenovo part I need? I see several of those on eBay.
04-02-2012 01:44 PM
I don't have one in front of me, nor do I have the numbers memorized, but if it's the correct one, it will have 4965AGN not 4965AG, and it will have a Lenovo FRU number.
It's basically the same part with a different firmware.
ps. In case you're wondering, I know of no way to update the firmware on one of these. They are cheap enough that it's not really an issue.
04-02-2012 03:22 PM
04-04-2012 06:13 AM
it is not that the firmware that is limiting the 4965AG, but rather the N mode is switched on the hardware level.
I would personally use Middleton's bios and upgrade the wireless card to the Intel 5300 or 6300. You would get much better performance.
I've flashed the BIOS with Middleton's version, and everything is working OK. But when I look at the specs of the various Wireless-N adapters, I wonder whether it's really worth going for the 5300 or 6300, as our home WiFi connection does only 300Mbps (and I often use a wired connection at home anyway), so a 5300 or 6300 isn't going to gain anything over the much cheaper ones. Do many public hotspots do 450Mbps?
04-04-2012 06:42 AM
I think the vast majority of users connect to the internet using wifi, and don't do a lot of pc to pc transfers where they need the "n" speed. Most of the worlds connections range from 1 to 10mbit/s, some of the faster ones are 20 or more, so fot this use you don't even need "n" speeds, a 54mbit "g" card is more then enough. However if you stream video from a central server (not referring to internet streaming, rather from one computer/device in your home to another), then you'll want "n" speeds. I find the 4965agn is more then sufficient for streaming 1080p video across my network. These cards are extremely reasonably priced, as little as $5 for ag or $15 for agn cards if you order them from asia in bulk. I can't complain, they work, are easy to setup, have good range... they meet all my needs.
As far as the method of disabling the "n", I believe the only difference between the Intel and lenovo branded card is the firmware. I didn't think lenovo had anything to do with manufacturing the hardware, but I could be wrong.
ps. now that you have middleton bios installed, you can use the intel 4965agn card, it's cheaper then the lenovo one, but I'd spend a few extra dollars for the lenovo card, otherwise if you ever install a lenovo bios, the system will refuse to boot.